There are no age limits. I wrote this when I was in my eighties and published the book when I was eighty-nine. Also, women are great writers about war.
I had the pleasure of interviewing author Maxine Giannini. Maxine was born in 1929. She has a BA from NYU.
Thank you for joining us! Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I have taught piano for 73 years. I had absolutely no intention of becoming an author. When I graduated high school my father would not send me to college as I didn’t need a college degree to have babies. I was always a voracious reader of the classics. After I educated my two children, one at Sarah Lawrence, and one at Julliard, I attended NYU and received a BA cum laude, as my daughter a writer and poet received her MA.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Perhaps that I didn’t own a computer and used a typewriter to type the book.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My late husband Ugo left me with a new career, both as an author of his story, and a curator of his amazing art.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or an example?
I don’t have the ego to assume I am a great writer, but Andy Rooney did read my introduction to Drawing D — Day and told me that I was a compelling writer with a fine sense of language and that I should write!
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
I think the personal love story that Ugo and his girlfriend had. It was a conflicted and bitter story involving his family and tormented him for quite some time, even after years had passed by.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
I think that there are no age limits. I wrote this when I was in my eighties and published the book when I was eighty-nine. Also, that women are great writers about war.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
Yes, I received 49 rejections of the manuscript. I put the book under my bed for ten years. I rewrote it and self-published the book, It was bought by Dover. Persistence pays off. Never give up!
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
War and Peace by Tolstoy. No one has ever written more compellingly of what war does to humanity.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
The story of WW11 is a heroic epic that changed the world forever. This book reveals that story in words and images.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Your voice is unique. No one will be able to express your story quite like you. Each voice is unique. Don’t imitate. Respect your way of expression.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I think that receiving a rejection from a publisher is ego-shattering. The rejection confirms your own self-doubts. Have enough self-confidence to go on in spite of the negative assessment of someone else. It’s their shortcoming, not yours.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Be an active participant in the democratic process. Don’t let someone else do it. Stay aware and active. Hitler was allowed to rise by his own evil and the public’s passive acceptance. Not only did they accept him, but they also worshiped him.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!